Okay. So the Ghostbusters reboot has incited a lot of anger. A LOT of anger. I can’t look at any of my social media pages without seeing my pals rage over reboots “ruining their childhoods.” And I’m with them—to a point.
I don’t think the new Ghostbusters looks funny (though it involves funny people) but I DO think Hollywood has a problem with remakes and reboots. I just wish people had some consistency in their unbridled rage. Here are some of the top YouTube comments on the trailer:
Here’s the thing: the internet has let some TERRIBLE remakes go without incident. Without outrage. Even Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull didn’t incite the kind of anger Ghostbusters did (except maybe from South Park). People were skeptical and mad, but they chose to wait until it came out for some reason. Hell, my friends and I saw the third Star Wars prequel! Even after seeing the first two! I’m pretty sure that’s enough to diagnose us all with Stockholm Syndrome. The fact that there’s this much rage over a trailer makes me think it’s not the trailer we’re truly mad at, otherwise, there would have been equal amounts of outrage over these reboots:
Okay, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that every single guy engaging in social media rage over Ghostbusters loved Robocop. Hey, me too. And I’m going to say everyone who loved Robocop thought a sequel was unnecessary. The new Robocop met every reboot’s demand for grittier, witless action. There was none of the charm of the original. But hey, that’s exactly what reboots are for. To suck the fun out of everything they touch. But if all the anger over Ghostbusters was about that fact, my Facebook feed would have lit itself on fire over this film. It didn’t.
This film fell into the “too much backstory” trap that a lot of reboots do. Also, WHY? Why did we need this? The artificial deepening of Freddy’s voice didn’t make him scary, and the actors didn’t seem lifelike before OR after their deaths. To be honest, I never thought Nightmare on Elm Street was supposed to be straight up horror. Freddy used to be kind of witty. In this film, he is not. But the Internet let this one go by without incident.
Okay, I’ll grant that this movie happened during a completely different era of Internet—I’ll call it the Homestarrunner epoch. This was around the time when I was going to AOL Harry Potter chat rooms to pretend to cast spells on other sad teens (Don’t judge me! Confundus!) That said, the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a classic kids movie. Several generations grew up on its charm. Those little actors conveyed so much wonder! Gene Wilder was so charming and enigmatic! Then he was replaced by Johnny Depp who thought acting like a known pedophile would make him “edgy” or something. Ugh. Also what is this obsession in modern movies with inserting father-son conflict into everything?? I don’t care about Willie Wonka’s daddy issues. We get it, producers, you had shitty fathers. That’s why you’re producers. Leave it out of the movie.
This reboot existed solely to put us face-to-face with the fact that we were just making fun of foreigners and falling down this whole time. A great movie for dads.
Okay, this was straight up unnecessary. The reason the original Carrie was so thrilling was because we didn’t know what was happening. Who is this spooky girl? Why is this happening to her? Is this a metaphor for puberty and social strife? Now that we’ve ruminated over all of these questions, the mystery is gone. The fun is gone. Carrie is just straight up revenge porn. Which is fun and all, but it kind of fucks with our ability to appreciate the original. Which is supposedly what people bitching about Ghostbusters are complaining about. Plus, Carrie’s discovery of her powers in this new film is basically just a superhero origin story. But hey, smash two popular things together and you’ll get a new popular thing! That’s been the industry’s thinking for awhile.
Like Robocop and A Nightmare On Elm Street, here’s another reboot with none of the humor and charm of the original. Despite that, no one got upset over it. Reddit didn’t implode. None of my buddies took to twitter to complain. Critics actually liked it!
Until Ben Affleck got cast as Batman, none of the Zack Snyder outrage (though there was outrage) even closely rivaled the anger over Ghostbusters. And it should have! The guy can’t tell a story! There’s no substance! What are his values? He just cares that everything looks pretty! That’s it! I hope he doesn’t have daughters, fuck!
So why are we upset over Ghostbusters? A movie with four strong funny women taking the place of four men… what could be inspiring such rage? I guess we’ll never know.
Jason Michelson writes stuff.